Note: This post was written by Tatiana Lumiere, a portrait photographer and photography educator with more than 10 years of experience.


Tatiana Lumiere

Video can set an emotional tone for a reveal session, helping to create an electric, impactful presentation. So while I also use a Sue Bryce inspired reveal wall as part of the sales session, I make sure to include an Animoto video during my reveal as well.

That means getting footage for reveal videos has become an important part of my workflow. I even record most of my video clips myself — it’s become second nature. And while I work with an assistant, most of these tips can be used by solo photographers, too.

Style: Runway
Song: “All About Your Heart” by Mindy Gledhill

I start capturing clips while my client is still in makeup. When her makeup is almost done, and she’s relaxed, I record a closeup of her face as she gets a few extra touches with the makeup brush. I’m in manual focus, playing with different looks, zooming in or out; panning to make sure I have lots of options for later.

During the photo session, my second camera is on a tripod. I make sure my client’s eyes are in focus, and I let the camera run.

It’s time for video production

I go through my video footage, choosing a few short (3-10 second) clips that go well with the images I want to use in my reveal. I edit them lightly in Photoshop. (You can do this by choosing “Motion” mode from the menu at the top right corner of the screen, just above your toolbars).

Motion Mode in Photoshop

There are several options, including zoom, pan, transparency, and slow motion. You can also use the same adjustment layers you’d normally use when editing photos to change things like brightness or contrast in your video clips.

(Hint: You can also edit your stills using the Motion tools so you can pan across an image or add a zoom. I do it now for all of my Animoto videos.)

Next step: Creating the video

Though you can use Proshow Producer or Photoshop, I personally use Animoto because it’s quick, easy, and includes licensed music. So my tips for video creation are based on using Animoto Professional.

  1. Choose your video style.
  2. Select music from their pre-licensed library (which has a huge variety!).
  3. Upload your images and video clips. Make sure to silence your clips, unless you want the sound to stay. (Double click on your clip to see audio options.)
    Silence video clips
  4. Some of the video styles, like Runway, which I used in the video above, let you extend your film clips beyond the 10-second default. Just double click on the clip, extend the length of the video, and press SAVE.
  5. Shuffle your images and video clips if you wish, or add text.
  6. Add your logo.
  7. Hit PRODUCE and enjoy.

As portrait photographers, we’re not only capturing beauty, but also creating an experience for our clients. An Animoto presentation serves as an anchor, refreshing her memory of the session experience. It also gives a moving intro to the reveal wall and a token clients will want to keep.


Tatiana Lumiere is a glamour, fine art, and conceptual photographer based in Wayne, Pennsylvania. She specializes in glamour portraits with a dreamy, elegant, and sensual twist. You can find more of her work on her website and blog.

Create video